Hundreds of people came together in Middlesbrough Town Hall for a spectacular Summer Banquet to celebrate its re-opening.

The event was the final instalment in celebrations to mark the £8m restoration of the Grade II* Listed Building – a project by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Middlesbrough Council – to promote it as the premier cultural attraction of the city centre.

With support from Arts Council England, local artists and entertainers performed for a diverse guest list of people who make Middlesbrough a better place to live, work, do business and enjoy a wide-ranging cultural and leisure offer.

Among them were people who have experienced homelessness, faith leaders, Middlesbrough’s Commonwealth Games heroes, local politicians, grassroots community activists, investors, street cleaners, education and business leaders and charity workers.

The guests were welcomed with a musical tour of the restoration works followed by a meal with performances throughout the evening by acts including Baghdaddies, Spark, Lindsay Hannon Trio, Aurora String Trio, Matthew Johnson, Nicky Chapman, and Archie Brown.

Speeches were given by Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd, Niall Hammond of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Erimus cast member Tresor Bukasa and Sarah Maxfield from Arts Council England.

Mr Budd said: “The re-opening of the Town Hall is a significant occasion and is a symbol of the major city-scale regeneration we are currently seeing in Middlesbrough which in turn leads to further investment, more jobs, better leisure opportunities and a bright future for our city.

“Events such as this make a statement both to people in Middlesbrough and beyond that we are ambitious, that we can put on absolutely brilliant cultural events and that the Town Hall as a place for performance is the perfect venue.

“I was proud to witness the stunning performances of our local artists in this fantastic refurbished building and to be able to do that amongst such a diverse group of people who all contribute to making Middlesbrough the brilliant place that it is.”

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England, said: “The transformation of the Town Hall is stunning and Arts Council was very pleased to support it through our Capital programme and as a part of National Portfolio of funded organisations from 2018-22.  The opening dinner was a taste of the programme to come – imaginative and creative with some surprises!”

Middlesbrough Council has invested £4m into the scheme alongside the £3.7m HLF grant and further support from the Arts Council through the award of £499,999 of capital funding.

The Town Hall has also successfully applied to the Arts Council for regular funding as a National Portfolio Organisation for 2018-22 which amounts to £996,000 for programming and activities.